Wednesday, July 29, 2015

24 Hours on the Road...In the Air...Wandering About?

Hello dear friends, I have not forgotten, I have just been lazy in writing! I wish I could say that I have been having an all around lazy summer in which I just hung out doing nothing and that is why I didn't want to touch the blog...instead I have taken on too much over the Summer with camps, activities, clubs and so much more that I just pushed the blog aside...Now I have 24 hours of randomness that I decided to plug into a random wall and just type...
Now I really sounds like I have lost it right? Well I kind of have. I got a call involving a family emergency in Mexico and BAM, I was buying tickets to get out there within 24-48 hours, along with applying for emergency minor passport renewals, seeing a notary in case my husband has to fly with the children out of the coutnry without me and then rearranging schedules and of course finding out that last minute international tickets are in the thousands of dollars...times 5......yikes....add in emergency passports and well...my trip to Europe has just flashed before my eyes! I couldn't get out when I wanted to or even where I wanted to, I ended up having to drive 5 hours away to another state to fly out of their airport but not after packing insanely (I don't even think I have  matching outfit in my suitcase) for myself and packing up 3 kids along with typing up school work information, 4H judging information for their projects (I cannot believe I am going to miss judging!!) and on and on the list went! I was a nervous wreck, I have never slept away from my husband for longer than 2 nights and my kids no longer than 1 night...it...is...rough.....We have already skyped twice and been texting all day...I miss them all and I have only been gone less than 24 hours!
You can tell that I am not used to traveling without my husband....because I have TOO MUCH STUFF!! My shoulders and back hurt and I have no one to carry them! I was tempted to buy a cane, so that I could wave down the assitance golf carts! Oh dear, I really have to re-think this mess when I pack for the return flight.
When I finally arrive in Iowa at what really seems like the world's tiniest airport (I am too used to O'hare!!), it's time to say goodbye to my husband and I don't want to let him go. I am scared and tired from carrying my bags and well, I need his support, his love, I need him. Oh how I wish we had just renewed the passports for the kids right when they expired (let this be a lesson to you all!!), and not just last month, because we were preparing for our February vacation. I clung to him and we both had tears in our eyes but it was time to move on, because that TSA line was getting pretty insane for an airport that looked like it could only hold 15 people! 
A last minute flight meant I was last to board and was assigned one of the last seats, I was prepared for the worst, but pleseantly surprised to end up with an aisle seat! We took off smoothly and before I knew it the plane was landing, I only wish I had a chance to get some sleep like my seatmate! I have now arrived in Texas and the layover here is long, 10 hours long to be exact! I didn't want to feel like Tom Hanks in The Terminal, so I planned lunch with an old college friend and then found out my mother was on the same flight from Dallas into Mexico, so we were planning on meeting up for a drink in Dallas when he flight arrived....much later! I am in between meetings right now and popped into the chapel to pray for my loved one and then off to find a place ot charge my phone, tablet, computer and nook....WHAT?!?! Yup, I am far too connected to this world, I was tempted to not do it and just enjoy the peace of a book...but keep in mind Iowa was a long wait, then the flight and then waiting here in Dallas...so I have already read 2 books...uh-oh....candy crush here I come!! I did a bit of airport shopping, but nope, I think I should not do anymore and stick with electronics, at least I won't spend money! Well..on the Nook I would, but that is beside the point!
I have managed to wander into different terminals, people watch, ride the train multiple times and even check out 2 different Starbucks locations, yup, I wore the wrong shoes for a full day of walking! I am glad for all the things to do though, because it keeps my mind of the thing at hand..the reason I am on my way to Mexico, my friends please pray for my grandmother and thank you for listening to the ramblings of a crazy person!
My palace awaits and what I have learned from all of this is how important an emergency fund is and to not wait for an emergency to make you run and see loved ones. It has been 3 years since I have last been here and that is far too long. I go forth from here onto the last 6 hours of my travel day, but I know that the past 18 hours have been well worth it, I will get to see my grandma and she will get to see me. She needs to know how much I love her and need to see for myself how she is doing...Enjoy every minute my friends, because you never know when those minutes will be cut too short.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015 - 105 fun things to do this Summer!

It's that time of year again! Time to get Summer Bucket lists together! We sit around the dinner table and think of all the things that are MUST-Do's this Summer and then we put them all in a list, along with a few things that we repeat, because we want to do them that many times!

Head on over HERE for the printable check-list version of this list! Share a few things that are on your list or even link me to it in the comments!
Enjoy every minute my friends!


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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Feeln Good


  Miss Connie
Last week was Teacher's Appreciation Week and I must say that it had me Feeln Good! I was approached to review Feeln, a movie subscription service that is perfect for the whole family. I am sorry to have been gone for so long! We were out of town for a robotics competition and then after a quick return home, we took off for a Mother's Day getaway, I plan on sharing posts about that soon, but for now let me share something awesome with you!
Take a hop on over to their website and check out all the movies they have to offer, I love the vast selection and truly love that my kids can watch so many of them. Please note that they do have some movies with language issues or content, depending on what you allow your children to watch (PG-13), but they break them down pretty well. Once the kids are in bed, my husband and I can always find something to watch too! I love that this is a site that both adults and kids can enjoy together or alone! My personal favorite are all the Hallmark Movies! As many of you know, we do not have a television,but there are plenty of compatible devices through Feeln and you will not regret trying this out! I really love the fact that I can catch up on Hallmark movies, without have to buy each one individually.
After a full day of school and lessons, activities and practices, there is nothing we like better than to sit together as a family and put on a movie. It's so much fun to browse all that they have to offer on Feeln and then vote on what to watch. We all have such different tastes but can always agree on movies!
So are you ready to try it out? Feeln is offering readers of my blog a 50% discount off their annual subscription, how cool is that?! Head on over to their site and use promo code: 0515BlogConnie. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has!
Family time is the best time! Enjoy every minute my friends!


*I have been offered a subscription to Feeln in exchange for my review, but the opinions are mine and I only write the truth in what I find and enjoy*
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Updates, Information and News...

Thursday is upon us and I must say that this week did go by quickly! I am sure many of you heard about those tornadoes in Northern IL two weeks ago, well those all happened in and around the area I live in. We were blessed enough to be in the library at the time and I have never been more impresssed with a group of people, than I was with the librarians there. My children were of course scared but they settled them down with chocolate chip cookies, books and even played board games with them!
My kids were on the local news media pages, when they donated their own money to the tornado victims. I was so proud when they came to me and asked if I would drive them to donate their money.
My kids have their first race this weekend and have been training like mad. My youngest son is not crying here, he is mad because the sun was in his eyes and we were taking photos when they should have been getting stretched out for their timed run. They are all so excited and I am just so happy to see that they have found something that they enjoy and can all do together.
My middle son has been impressing me more and more with his robots. He is in the process of trying to figure out how to work one into his science fair project and while thinking, he likes to tinker. While he was working blindly, he managed to make a robot that picked up and lifted a bottle of water and moved it to another place and then put it down and released it. It was so cool to watch him program it as he tested where he wanted to to be picked up and where he wanted it to go. I love how much he enjoys creating.
I've been gathering new nature guides and the ones we have owned for awhile and put together a outdoor explorers basket. I will photograph the entire thing for next weeks post, after we use them tomorrow on our nature hike. I like keeping things in groups, so that they get used more often!
Get out there and enjoy every minute of RIGHT NOW!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Dinner Is Cold...

Hello mothers out there, this one is for you! We have been overwhelmed with activities, field trips,classes and so much more all culminating right now. It has been exhausting for everyone involved but kids tend to be able to bounce back so much quicker. My body wants an extra hour in the day to sleep but that extra hour could be spent catching up with everything else that is going on around the house.
Why is it that when we sit down to dinner, I am the last one to sit? Someone needs something and I jump up, as though I were a yo-yo...they know what they need, they all know where to get it, but for some reason it's okay, I can do it. Sometimes I eat standing in the kitchen because I don't get a minute to sit. By the time I finally sit down to enjoy my meal, it's cold and most everyone is done and chatting away. I love those moments after dinner, that I usually push my plate away and laugh and talk with them...my food long forgotten.
There is nothing I wouldn't do for these 3 and my husband. They want to try something, join something or learn something and we are all doing it with them or cheering them on. It means work done in cars, lines, waiting rooms and libraries but they think of it as an adventure. I look at it as living in my car! Sometimes we are gone from early in the morning until dinner time and even though it makes for long days, they are loving every minute and laughing and learning...what more could a mother want? Everything I have to get done for school and around the house will keep my husband up until the wee hours of the night, but it's all worth it.
I broke my glasses the other day and my husband offered to take me to replace them straight away...instead I put on my emergency pair with so many scratches they are a mess and I told him I would go later...I know I won't go, I know I will make excuses and want to spend the money on something else for the kids. Why do we do that? Why do we put aside what we need and sometimes want, for kids that already have more than enough? Because that is our job. I was at my parents house last weekend and my mother made dinner, she served everyone around the table and ate while standing at the stove. I didn't even notice until I was done eating...it was so good. I asked what she used in her dinner and my dad stood up straight away and pulled out all the spices and supplies and packed them in a cooler for us to take, even though it was all brand new! My husband loved a new Disney watch my dad has just ordered and he promptly took it off and gifted it to him and would not take no for an answer...he said he had too many as it was. We surprised my parents by stopping by, because we had been in the area and they were on their way out. My mother to a meeting with friends and my father to see my grandfather, instead we all went to a movie. Why do we do what we do? Because we can, because we WANT to, because we love our children and want them to know that. I do what I do, because it's all I know. I have parents that went to college in the evening hours on opposite days, so that they could be home with their family. I have parents that worked 2 jobs so that we would always have what we wanted and needed. I have parents that sacrificed their own happiness to raise me in a way where I never thought I was different from any one else. They walked a fine line financially and I never knew. They have since done so well for themselves that they only want to give and share but it's amazing how much we don't notice as children and it's because we don't want our children to notice. We want them to be happy...I better go, my lunch has been waiting on the counter and is getting cold.
Enjoy every minute my friends!
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Junk Drawer Learning

If there is one thing I love doing the most, it's making art from items that would normally be thrown away, something else I love to do, is to make learning manipulatives! A few simple ingredients that we had around the house and 1 hour of Criminal Minds and I had a Color Spelling Game!
This game is perfect for a literacy center for kids to work on quietly alone or in a group. All you need are:
1. Used File Folder
2. Water Bottle Caps
3. Circle Labels (But you can use a sharpie right on the labels if you want!)
4. Dark Marker
5. Crayons
Once you have gathered all your items, just make up the alphabet on labels or righto on the caps and then add in the extra letters you will need for colors that double letters in their spelling. My game is for color spelling, but once you have the caps made, you can just make multiple file folder games using the same caps! Use your folder as your game mat and add on whatever you need to do and then draw circles or lines, so they know how many letters are in each word!
The caps can be used with the game or alone as an alphabet game or even for use with some spelling list words, to spell names and numbers as well!
Use cardstock or cut down an old file folder to make self checking cards with the correct spelling and the same picture that you used on the game mat. These cards can be used alone or with the game mat.
Pop everything loose into a baggie and staple it to the back of the file folder, now it all stores neatly and together.
Enjoy every minute my friends!



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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thinking Thoughts on Thursday...

As I sit here surrounded by maps and guidebooks and train schedules along with flight information, I am realizing how quickly time is passing. We are headed to Philadelphia, New Jersey & New York in September and are very excited but also very exhausted with planning. There is so much we want to do, that there is no way we can squeeze it all in to 1 week. So of course my mind begins to wander and I am all over the place, because of this, today's post will be all over the place with a few topics that are here and there.
Don't have the time or funds for a vacation? How about a staycation?! Head to a local hotel or museum in your town/city and in the lobby they tend to have free brochures all about your area. Put together a fun itinerary for the weekend, exploring new places and if you have extra funds or plan ahead, stay in a local hotel with a pool, to add on the fun of it all! Can't do that? Make a day of fun experiences and then head home and have everyone bunk together in one room for the night watching movies and chatting or a living room sleepover with some fun, family activities!
 
Thrifty Thursday craft tip is to make an angel out of an old hardcover book, these are a dime a dozen at bag sales and so easy to do! Once you've folded down a triangle of EACH page, just use a hot glue gun to bunch ribbon and glue to the left and right side where the book covers are exposed, these become the angels wings. Do the same at the bottom, so that it defines her dress. Add a styro-ball head and yarn or something similar for hair. Making a triangle pouch up front is perfect for holding a rosary or gift card.
I have a large notebook that I keep with me when I read, along with post-its and pens and highlighters. I like to jot down notes and or quotes that speak to me as I go along and in the case of books where authors feel the need to toss in 100 different characters, then I need to keep track of them somehow. As I read I use the post-it notes to mark areas of the book that I want to look at again or what I think is a pivotal part of the story. Am I the only nerd that reads like this?
Break free & enjoy every minute my friends!


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday...Kind Of!

Welcome to our busiest season! I am trying so hard to keep up, but it seems to always get the best of me! We were out of town and just got back yesterday. If course I paid the house sitters and made plans for them to come back tomorrow! How on earth can we even get laundry done? Maybe we should just buy all new clothes! 
How was your Easter? It was absolutely fantastic for us! We had 4 stops to make but all worked out well and with great efficiency!
Our sunflowers are growing! Now if only it would warm up to allow us a transplant! I cannot wait to see these continue to blossom. The kids enjoy watering their plants every day and measuring their growth.
I love catching my children playing quietly. I always hear that quiet children are up to no good, but so far I have only found friends playing quietly and unwinding from long mornings!
This morning we are listening to Kingdom Keepers book I on CD. This is a great way to get them to settle in for a day of studying! We love our early and quiet mornings where we break a little from the routine!
Enjoy every minute my friends!


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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday...Not Really

Field trip to the police station ends with my daughter in handcuffs! 
Bag of books sale at the library! 
A reading club WITH snacks? Yup, he's loving it!

Cross country practice ended with an egg run in honor of Easter! 
My little seamstress enjoyed her tween sewing club and making a treat pouch! 
Loving every minute of watching this big hearted boy of mine grow up!
Enjoy every minute my friends!

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