I'm a mom on the run!

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It’s Fun to Stay at the YMCA

For three summers now, I’ve enrolled my children in the YMCA’s Splash program, which offers free swim lessons sponsored in part by The Katelyn Foundation.  Not only is the price right for these swim lessons, but this wonderful refresher course helps start my girls’ summer off on the right foot flipper.  After a long break from swimming, my girls need to be acclimated to the water once again by relearning proper swimming techniques and water safety awareness.

 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

After their swim lessons, I reward the girls with extra swim time at the YMCA’s zero entry pool and sprayground, complete with bubblers and a water slide.  It’s fun in the sun for every age!


 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

All this week, I’ve sported my bikini, but the long wall of reflective windows has me second guessing my chosen pool attire.  At least swim lessons at the YMCA were the right choice.




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workshop button 1 Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

“Vlog: Summer is here and it’s time to hit the water…will you be jumping in with the kids? How do you feel about prancing around in your swimsuit?”

My Mini Mozarts

Recently both my girls have begun to show an interest in music and our piano, so I enrolled them in piano lessons.


The first week, the teacher showed them the basics: position of their fingers, position on the seat, how to read the notes, etc.


allana piano1 My Mini Mozarts


allana piano2 My Mini Mozarts


allana piano4 My Mini Mozarts


I knew Allana was really ready, but I worried about Emmalynn.  I didn’t know if she would have the attention span or capability to sit still long enough to learn how to play.


emma piano1 My Mini Mozarts


emma piano3 My Mini Mozarts


Emmalynn proved me wrong.  She did fabulously!  And like a sign from above to validate that I made the right choice enrolling her, Emmalynn’s first song to learn happened to be her favorite since she was a baby: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.


twinkle piano1 My Mini Mozarts


As directed by her teacher, I put stickers on our piano to help Emmalynn practice.


piano stickers My Mini Mozarts


During Allana’s practices, she needed a little help finding middle C.  Although they didn’t practice every day, they practiced enough to impress their teacher the following week.


At our second lesson, their teacher said the girls are progressing very well and ready for more challenges.  She didn’t expect to see such progress so quickly.  This encouraging news caused me to beam with pride from ear to ear.


1emma piano2 My Mini Mozarts


2allana piano1 My Mini Mozarts


I like to believe they got their musical ability from me, since I took years of piano lessons in my youth, but I have to give Dad some credit since there’s some musical talent on his side as well. (Dad plays guitar, too.)  Maybe the combination of both our genes made mini Mozarts.


4235120634 71d9399b5f o My Mini Mozarts
Hosted by Cecily and Life With Kaishon

08Nov21 gmbs 1 1 My Mini Mozarts

Shoeboxes Filled with Love and Lessons

BloggersCareButton Shoeboxes Filled with Love and LessonsAny girl with a shoe fetish will tell you, you never throw away the boxes.  These stylish ladies save the boxes and neatly line their closet shelves with rows of shoeboxes.


As for runners, there’s a never ending supply of shoeboxes or at least a new shoebox every three months or so.  


During my life as a running SAHM, my shoes consisting mostly of running shoes, Crocs and flip-flops which I wear too often to keep neatly stored in rows of boxes, but rather piled in heaps on the bottom of my closet.


Although I don’t save the shoeboxes to store my shoes anymore, I do save the boxes for a charity first brought to my attention by my friend, Lori.  I credit Lori for introducing me to two things: running and Operation Christmas Child.  Under her direction, our moms group, Moms on the Go, began an Operation Christmas Child drive every November. 


 ooc Shoeboxes Filled with Love and Lessons


Throughout the year, my daughters save the toys from their fast food kid’s meals specifically for this charity.  Naturally, they each prefer to fill a box for a girl and I fill a box for a boy.  If our boxes seem a bit empty, I take the girls to the dollar aisle at Target and have them pick a few more items to add to their shoeboxes.  This year, my girls will include drawings, photos and a letter telling a little about themselves.


For the first time last year, I pre-paid the postage for our shoeboxes on-line.  After our boxes were delivered, I received an e-mail from Samaritan’s Purse naming the destination of packages.  The e-mail included a link which highlighted the destination on the map and from that same link, my girls and I viewed images of children in Guyana holding their small treasure chests.  My girls found the photos gratifying and I appreciated the brief geography lesson it offered.  Most importantly, I truly appreciated the larger lesson Operation Christmas Child has taught my girls year after year:  Our small boxes of joy have a huge impact on another child.


Thanks to Lori, my girls and I look forward to Operation Christmas Child every November.  It brings us such pleasure to fill another child’s life with joy and love.

OCCimg Shoeboxes Filled with Love and Lessons

Book Review: Hot on the Range

scan0033 hotr 300x300 Book Review: Hot on the Range

Parents and educators understand the importance of teaching problem solving skills to children.  Sometimes it can be difficult to sit back and watch children fumble through mistakes to learn the best path; however, through real-world experiences the process becomes more meaningful. 


By demonstrating problem solving skills, we guide our children to make informed decisions and determine the best choice.  Children’s books make great tools to help teach our children this process and with the aid of Hot on the Range, problem solving and decision making skills are modeled to young children. 


In Hot on the Range, a young horse discovers the best way too cool himself on a hot summer day in Texas.  Through a series of events, Chester learns that sometimes the best way to do something for one isn’t always the best solution for another.  As he fumbles through his mistakes, he eventually uncovers the solution to his problem with the help of his master.  Through trial and error and patience, Chester discovers the best solution to his problem.


Typically in juvenile fiction, the elements of fantasy and humor teach lessons to young readers.  The author, R.D. Jentsch, uses real animal behavior and instincts to teach problem solving to her audience.  When reading this story, young readers will learn how a horse survives the Texas heat as well as understanding the decision-making process.   


Since my girls (ages 7 and 4) love horses, they were instantly drawn to the story.  David C. Bryant’s beautiful water color illustrations held their attention.  Parents and educators will appreciate its simple lesson on problem solving and trial and error. 


Hot on the Range is available at Amazon or you can visit  R. D. Jentsch’s second book, Froggy and Friends Go to the Creek, is due to be released on August 29, 2009.


froggy friends cover Book Review: Hot on the Range


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