Hours of Entertainment

I love my kids.  They are really lovely and although there are ups and downs, the wonderful times outweigh the difficult ones.  I had a recent example when unexpectedly we were without child care for a week!  Our day went something like this:

I started on calls at 7am, kids ran in and out, wanting to hear the calls, wanting to speak on the calls and making quite a bit of background noise as I tried to work.

At 9am, I took a break for a pit stop to the bathroom with a detour to get Little Mstr’s hyena.  It was in solitary confinement due to the kids non-compliance when they were supposed to clean their room several months ago.  Hyena was forgotten until very recently when he was rediscovered and my little Mstr has been on a relentless pursuit ever since (and cleaning his room like a champ)!

Sometime between 9-10, Little Miss managed to get me to let her polish her nails.  She picked out a color and went to work.  That focused activity (did I mention I had calls) lasted about 10 min before my husband found a spill on the floor and that was the end of that.  A bit of a bummer as she is usually pretty good at polishing her nails and gets mostly in the lines!!

At 10am when I finally had a break, we went outside for the kids to ride bikes and me to work on my laptop.  Of course our neighbor came home about 10 min later and my children badgered (uh I mean beguiled) her into a playdate with her son who is a year older.  That resulted in said neighbor and I sharing a workspace at her dining room table while the kids played together for a couple of hours.  It was actually quite productive and mostly interruption free.

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We raced off at 12 because Little Mstr had an appointment at 1p.  We didn’t have enough time for lunch before leaving the house, but did get some yogurt from Starbucks next to the office before his appointment.  And the kids took the opportunity to have an in depth conversation with (quiz mercilessly) a local police officer – they discussed all of his ‘tools of the trade,’ his car and lots of things!

Little Miss wants so badly to go to her brother’s appointment so today’s treat (distraction) was to get her a pedicure (did I mention she only did 2 toes before the spill)?  It took a bit longer than expected so I had to carry her back with no shoes to get Little Mstr.

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On the way home in the car, we had a great conversation about their dialogue with the police officer in town.  I finally found a way to explain that police are there to protect and to serve, but that you always have to trust your intuition and respond accordingly.  Unfortunately, there are bad people in the world and some of them might be police who might not have your best interests at heart.  The kids key takeaways: listen to your intuition  – if it tells you someone is bad, be polite and respectful, but get out of the situation, you can always rely on your wisdom from God, call Mommie and can always pray.  I was quite pleased with how well our discussion landed.

Lunch was served and I was super proud of my little ones who decided  they were still a little munchy (or I didn’t feed them enough) and they made their own cheese sandwiches.  This included getting a real plate and warming the sandwich in the microwave with only the help of a step stool (no help from Mommie needed aside from finding the cheese).  They even did the dishes after lunch!

The next big activity was for a ‘stand’ in the yard – they would not be deterred from this venture and in fact, it turned into the highlight of the day!  The kids made their sign, helped make the tea (no fixins for lemonade), got the ice from the ice machine and helped set everything up.

They made $4 on $0.50 cups and met some friends who were on a walk which turned into another fun ‘playdate’.

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With a day like this, I didn’t have much time for photos, but I did manage to snap a few.  Having said that I really want to remember this day.  It was a great example of the gift of watching my children grow up right before my eyes!  If you made it this far, thanks for reading and sharing with me.

It’s a Family Reunion Road Trip

I have to preface this post with the fact that I do not like road trips!  And when you add two energetic 5.5 year olds to the mix the idea of a road trip strikes fear in my fearless Mommie heart.  So when we decided to drive to my husband’s family reunion in Charlotte, NC, I was determined not to let my worst fears come true.  For perspective, my Little Miss can get to the point of pained boredom on 45 min ride – I did not relish the thought of of 9.5 hours of “this is boring” from the backseat!

Mommie mind and Pinterest kicked into high gear, resulting in 2 bags, 2 bins and several different activities designed to keep even little miss occupied.  Did I mention I was trying to avoid 20 hours of screen time?

Here is our adventure-

Left NJ and within the first hour three of the activities were played!

 

In PA, we ended up with backseat highway bingo and a stop at the Dollar Store for the bathroom and some water (really a break for Mommie and Daddy).  Chick-fil-A and singing songs followed.

In VA, we went to the amazing Luray Caverns. We were very late arriving but managed to catch a lovely (but late) tour with Tabitha – our very knowledgable tour guide.  Quite wondrous to see the Caverns and hear the history.  We were there 168 years – 2 days from the discovery date!!

 

 

We found a very nice hotel, The Mimslyn Inn – and had our own cottage for the night.  The kids enjoyed the pull out love seat and gas fireplace and I loved that we had a real refrigerator with a freezer for our ice packs.

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My little Mstr was a little disappointed that we didn’t stay in the hotel proper (his first reaction was that it was fancy), but allowed that the cottage was nice and he wanted to stay longer.

In the morning, we woke up, had breakfast from the cooler (I knew that yogurt and granola would come in handy) and we got on the road.  Fortunately, we decided to drive a bit of the Skyline Drive- a beautiful route through the Shenandoah Valley.

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We even saw a baby black bear and we were all thrilled!

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That kept the kids occupied for the first couple hours.  Then we had craft time!! I took a leap on faith and had construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors and glue in the project bags!  The kids spent some time making crafts to give to Grandma and Granddaddy for their walls.

While they aren’t old enough to stay occupied reading books for hours, when craft time was over I discovered  that they do love the story telling channel on Spotify!

We finally arrived around 7p in Charlotte and the family reunion festivities began!

Thanks to the Universe for traveling mercies on the first two legs of our trip.

Up next- the return trip home!!