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Monday, June 29, 2015

World Week Recap & #SummerThemeWeek Discovery Week!

I took a much needed little hiatus last week after our world sort of crumbled for a bit.  It is not a huge deal, just a huge amount of stress that hit.  Add to that our 7 year wedding anniversary, 4 parties in 2 days for various things and some hefty school work and well, last week did not go exactly as planned. Last week was World Tour Week if you remember.

Summer Theme Week, World Tour Week Recap, Rio Movie Ideas, Water World, Discovery Theme Week, How to Train your Dragon Ideas, Dragon Scavenger Hunt, Dragon Food

Sometimes life just does not go as planned and although I am pretty bummed that we missed out on a few things, I know that we can always fit them in somewhere.  Summers are sometimes busier than we would.

Movie Monday:  I had to take care of some work business so when I got off work on Monday I grabbed the kids, some Subway sandwiches and we sat down to watch Rio2.  This was a pretty good start to our week.


Time off Tuesday:  The kiddos spent the day with their babysitter, where my oldest turned off his listening skills and my youngest was a wild thing.  I feel awful for my sitter and just thank God every dang day that she loves us. While they were terrorizing the sitter, I was sitting in front of my computer for 6 hours working on stuff like this:

Pendulums anyone?
Water Wednesday:  Well we were planning on hitting up Water World but part of life happened including some really awesome payroll issues at my husbands job, so instead of a semi discounted day at Water World, we ended up at our local water park, which was just as fun!

Get Out...holding hands...melting!!!  The peanut LOVES the water slides and the boy, can almost swim!
Travel Thursday:  This is where the week got hectic.  I wanted to take the kids but honestly, I was overwhelmed and tired and frustrated and just really needed a break.  So that is what we did.  We did nothing and it was wonderful.  The kids watched movies, I did homework, we ate lunch, watched some more movies and played inside, took naps, grabbed some dinner, baths and bed.  Oh and also, I got stupid sunburned...just dumb, dumb, dumb.



Family Friday:  This was more like family weekend.  Holy moly.  We had a bridal shower, a birthday party, a TWIN baby shower, a wedding and our anniversary this weekend.  I am pretty glad we took Thursday off because by the time Sunday rolled around my kids were spent and so were we.


So what is on the docket for this week?

Summer Theme Week, World Tour Week Recap, Rio Movie Ideas, Water World, Discovery Theme Week, How to Train your Dragon Ideas, Dragon Scavenger Hunt, Dragon Food

I plan to make this week a bit of a mystery, with the kids discovering things.  Kind of like the premise of How to Train your Dragon where the Dragons were a mystery and how everything was discovered and changed!  We of course have the movie today and tomorrow they will be with grandma discovering all the things that the farm has to offer.  Wednesday we will discover a new water park that we have never been to and Thursday we will discover some wedding items that we need and then discover what dragon food tastes like. Friday we will do a little scavenger hunt of dragon eggs!  I think this week will be much easier and a bit more laid back.  So very needed.

What would you add to Discovery Week?

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Let's Get Real Here

Summer.  As a teacher and a parent it is a cherished time.  I get to be home with my babies, and catch up on rest and see all my friends and family that I really do not get to see much during the year.  It is great...unless of course you are a busy mom of two small children who writes a semi-successful blog (that you absolutely adore and is your only "me" time) and of course you took 7 credits of graduate school because you like torture.

Everyone has been asking how I am doing it all.  The truth is, not much sleep, a lot of frustration a lack of attention to my husband and help from some amazing people with the kids.  Let's get real here, I cannot wait until the first week of August because I am so OVER this summer class stuff. Prior to starting this summer session I spoke with each of my professors and asked specifically for time commitments and let them know where I stand with time.  Each and everyone of them responded with a reasonable answer that made me safely sign up for classes believing that I really only would need about 7-10 hours a week to work on school.  What an utter and complete lie.

Maybe that was the initial plan however, that is NOT how it is going down.  My 1 credit class has me write several papers a week.  This week I have written 9 papers...9 folks, all over 3 pages in length. One of my 3 credit courses actually is holding up her end as there is only 2 short 1 page papers to write and a 3 hour Skype like video conference and some discussion boards.  The last one though, whew, it is killing me.  There is projects and group discussions and research papers and annotated bibliographies and video conferences and chapters to read and summarize and labs to design, write, carry out, report and analyze.  Sometime last week I almost just gave up.  How do people do it?  How stupid was I to do this?

Then I realize that I am over a month in and I am doing it, I am getting stuff done and getting great grades.  I have the support and that by this time next year all this frustration an annoyance with workload will be done and the reward will be worth it.

Now if only the sleep, and husband neglect issues could solve themselves.

Anyone else successfully navigate and over committed schedule?  How did you do it?

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cool Science Stuff You See Every Day

I am a science teacher and although I do not share most of what I do in my classrooms, I was elated when Andy contacted me to share some science fun with my readers. Enjoy the post and comment with questions below.

Cool Science Stuff You See Every Day
Author: Andy Andersen

Ever wondered how science affects your everyday life? How doesn’t it, should be the real question. We live in a world where science is responsible for just about everything we do. Here are just a few of the things you and your children use or come across every day and how science makes them work. You can use these everyday interactions to help your kids learn more about the science involved.

Fluorescent Light
Without science, you’d be in the dark anytime you’re not out in the sun. Ever wonder how those long, cylinder-shaped light bulbs that light your classroom and school hallways work? They are called fluorescent light bulbs, and they light up when the gas inside them is energized by an electric current. The mercury vapor then makes ultra violet light, which causes the inside of the bulb to glow. Thanks to science, you never have to do your times tables in the dark.



Microwave Ovens
Like most kids, you probably eat a lot of food that’s cooked in a microwave oven. Microwaves generate radio waves that excite water molecules in food. As the water molecules get more and more excited, they generate heat, which in turn cooks the food. Next time you're waiting for your hot dog or pizza to cook in the microwave, take a look inside and imagine what’s going on in there.

High-Tech Currency
You wouldn’t think that your five dollar bill is high-tech. But in today’s world, paper money is loaded with high-tech security features that let banks know that the money is real. One of these features is ultraviolet print. There are certain markings on a banknote that are only visible when under ultraviolet light. Another feature is a raised ink. Often the numbers and some of the images on a banknote will be raised on the banknote through a printing system that uses heat to raise the ink. Click here for more information on the science of currency.



Antibiotics and Immunizations
Science makes it possible for you to get medicine from the doctor when you’re sick. Penicillin and antibiotics were discovered in the late 1920’s when British scientist Alexander Fleming discovered a mold that killed some bacteria he was working with. Since then, thousands of bacteria-fighting medicines have been developed to combat against all kinds of illnesses.

Tablets and Smartphones
It goes without saying that if it weren’t for science, you wouldn’t be playing games and downloading apps on your tablet or smartphone. The thought of having personal electronics was unheard of before the first personal computer was invented in 1975. Before that, computers filled up whole rooms and were built only to perform mathematical calculations. Thanks to the scientific development of computers from giant calculating machines into personal computers, you now have the technology available to do everything from homework to watching TV on your tablet and phone.



Weather Forecasting
It’s pretty amazing that these days we can instantly check what the weather will be like for weeks. We all probably take for granted the fact that we can plan ahead what we will wear and how we will get around based on what the weather will be like on any given day. Weather forecasting is a huge part of our lives, and it’s all thanks to science and technology. The process of predicting the weather used to be done by looking at current weather conditions and sky condition. Today it is done by weather forecasters who predict the weather based on information from computers, but even when computers are interpreting the atmosphere, it still takes some human guess work.

The Ability to Understand How Things Work
The more you know about science, the more you understand how the world works. Now that you have a better idea about how much science influences what you do every day, keep researching and studying scientific subjects on your own. Maybe someday you’ll be able to use science to create something that helps other people live better lives. Or maybe you’ll use your better understanding of the world to help others learn. Whatever you decide to do with your knowledge, it’s important to keep learning and coming up with new ideas.

When humans use scientific concepts to come up with new ideas, the world becomes a better place.

Thank you Andy for sharing some really interesting scientific facts.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 Tips to Sun Safety for Kids with Skin Sensitivities #ChooseSkinHealth #IC [ad]

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Neutrogena. I received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

It is summer and for my sensitive skinned family that means that I need to take extra care to protect them.  I know there are many parents out there whose children also have skin sensitivities and so I came up with a great list of 5 tips for Sun Safety for kids with (or without) Skin Sensitivities. 

#ChooseSkinHealth, Tips for Sun Safety, Skin Sensitivities, Neutrogena

Both of my children have skin sensitivities.  For my son it is the triple play that is classic for kids.  He has asthma, allergies and eczema.  When he was a baby his skin would get very dried out and his poor little cheeks would get so red they would have tiny cracks on them.  We had to use steroid cream to combat this until the little guy was finally diagnosed and I was educated on how to take care of his most important organ.  I was hoping that my daughter would not have to deal with the craziness that my little man does, however, we were not as lucky.  Although she does not have the "triple play", she does have eczema and very sensitive skin.  Her skin is not as baby soft and smooth as most and I have to make sure that we are moisturizing and cleaning her skin often as she will react to any little chemical.


This is why it is critical for me to make quality choices for my families skin health.  My husband and I also have forms of eczema and I know that I was most likely the parent that passed that "triple play" gene on as I have many allergies, asthma and skin sensitivities too.  Summer is particularly harsh on skin because of the heat, sweat, sun, water and products (like sunscreen, lotions, soaps and bug spray) that we use on our bodies.  For families with eczema these can be very drying and tough on our skin. As a mom, I have taken extra care to make sure that my kids are protected, yet still live a normal, average life and are not held back due to their medical diagnoses and make sure the products that I put on their skin are safe and approved for skin sensitivities. 


We spend a lot of time outside in the summer, like most families, so I thought it would be great to share my 5 Tips to Sun Safety for Kids with Skin Sensitivities.

  1. Wear proper protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.  We try to make sure that we are wearing breathable clothing that will dry relatively quickly and not retain much moisture.  This goes for swim wear and general clothes.  I am very particular about the fabrics that my kids wear and tend to put them in a lot of lightweight cottons and steer clear of polyester blends.
  2. Rotate in and out of the sun.  The suns rays are damaging and that is not news.  Allowing our skin a break every 10-15 minutes gives your skin a break.  Locate some shade folks.
  3. Hydrate.  During those breaks, make sure to drink a lot of water and push that habit with your children.  Your body is largely built of water and for people with eczema and skin sensitivities, hydration is key.  Making sure that you are internally healthy is just as important as being externally healthy. 
  4. Take care of your skin year round.  This should be obvious.  I know that today my pictures and timing are for the summer, but honestly each seasonal change comes with different challenges. Make sure that you adjust your skin care routine to the season.  In the summer we use sunscreen and shade and protective clothing, in the winter we lather up with lotion, in the spring and fall it is typically a combination of everything. 
  5. Sunscreen.  This is critical and for people with skin sensitivities it is even more important that you really make sure you choose the best option.  Remember that you skin is your first line of defense for your immune system and that damage to it can be fatal in some cases.  Knowing that skin cancer is more prevalent later in life due to sunburns sustained in childhood and that one in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer, it is critical that we protect our skin.  I find it interesting that only about 20% of American's use sunscreen with an SPF daily.  For my family we are in that 20%.  I make sure that my make up has SPF, as well any lotions that we use daily and that I have non-expired sunscreen in every bag, car and exit outside. 


For our main sun protection I have recently switched over to Neutrogena products because they were just awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.  They have really focused on using naturally sourced ingredients and designed a sunscreen technology called PURESCREEN® that forms a screen between the sun and skin to provide the best, lightweight, most sensitive, protection.

#ChooseSkinHealth, Tips for Sun Safety, Skin Sensitivities, Neutrogena

Not just one, but five of Neutrogena's products were National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.  It made our choice to switch easy as we know that the product is good for our skin and also budget friendly.  I snagged the three products above for about $25.00 and then realized that I missed a couple coupons I could have used on them, so I could have probably got them for under $20.00, which for skin care products that are approved for eczema, that is a steal.
I am eager to try out the other Neutrogena products because of how great they have been on our sensitive skin.  There have been less breakouts, rashes, and skin issues and absolutely no sunburns so far this year.  I could not be happier with the switch and hope that everyone will follow my tips for sun safety and product recommendations.  Please make sure to also check out Neutrogena on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

So tell me then, how do you #ChooseSkinHealth?

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Monday, June 22, 2015

#SummerThemeWeek Recap of Creatures Week! #Recipes

I would be lying if I told you that last week was boring, because it totally was not.  We had a blessed week that was right in our frugal little budget, surrounded with great friends and family and fun too! Our theme last week was "creatures" and our plan is below.
Summer Theme weeks, BoxTroll Recipes, Deviled Egg Recipe, yogurt biscuit recipe.
Movie Monday:  My mom, the kids and I headed to our local theater to catch "The BoxTrolls".  The kids had already seen this a few weeks ago but did not watch it all they way through.  For my mom and I it was a first.  I actually really liked the movie, even though I was not keen on the previews and did not see it originally in theaters.  Super cute and it gave me some pretty good ideas for our dinner later in the week.
Time off Tuesday:  The kids headed over to grandma's where they played outside the majority of the day and I worked on my grad classes.  They had fun, I learned...it wasn't near as fun as what they did.

Water Wednesday:  These are always a bit tricky depending on the weather.  It was wishy washy so we stayed closer to home than originally planned.  We hit up a brand new local splash park with a friend for a couple hours.  It was truly a creature experience as I ended up having to rope in the crazy kids whose parents clearly didn't care that they were trying to drown my 2 year old.  #MamaBearDontPlayNice.  All is well, the sassy princess is a fighter.


Travel Thursday:  This was my most favorite day of all!  We hit up the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a fantastic day with our family to see all sorts of creatures from real (dead) ones to mythic ones.  We had a blast and met a unicorn.

Family Friday:  This week was busier than the last couple.  So we laid low for the day and vegged out at home.  Everyone took naps, except me because I had to write an obscene amount of papers and then I cooked an absolutely delicious BoxTrolls themed dinner of Salmon, Deviled Eggs and Cheesy Garlic Biscuits.  It was epic and you can check out the recipes below.

Summer Theme weeks, BoxTroll Recipes, Deviled Egg Recipe, yogurt biscuit recipe.

Spicy Enchilada Salmon:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of red enchilada sauce
  • 2 filets of salmon
  • 3-5 sprigs of cilantro (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450ยบ
  • Lay your salmon filets on a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Pour the enchilada sauce over the filet (you make want to place the foil inside a casserole dish)
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese over it
  • If you would like place the cilantro sprigs on top of it. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes.


Summer Theme weeks, BoxTroll Recipes, Deviled Egg Recipe, yogurt biscuit recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of 7up
  • 2 cups of biscuit baking mix
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheese

Directions:


  1. Melt the butter in the bottom of your baking dish (mine is 8x10)
  2. Mix the 7UP, Biscuit mix, garlic salt, cheese and yogurt in a separate larger bowl.
  3. Using a spatula, spread the dough mixture over the butter until its thickness is even
  4. Back at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes
Summer Theme weeks, BoxTroll Recipes, Deviled Egg Recipe, yogurt biscuit recipe.

Ingredients:


  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of mayonaise
  • 1/8 cup of dill relish
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp of paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of mustard
Directions: 
  1. Hard boil the eggs and allow to cool
  2. Cut eggs in half, remove yolk and place in a small mixing bowl, place egg whites on a separate dish.
  3. Mix egg yolks, mayo, dill relish, garlic salt, paprika, onion powder and mustard until mixture is smooth.  
  4. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture and if you would like sprinkle some paprika for decoration. 

Our weekend was just as busy with a family wedding where the sassy peanut thought the bride was a princess and a great Father's day complete with a meal fit for a king.  Hope your week was great.  If you want to know what our plan is this week check it out below.

Summer Theme weeks, BoxTroll Recipes, Deviled Egg Recipe, yogurt biscuit recipe.

What does your week look like?  Doing anything that excites you?

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